Doctoral Candidates - Periods of Temporary Absence Policy and Procedures


Doctoral candidates seeking a temporary absence from the University for a period of between one month and one year

Doctoral candidates seeking long-term or permanent off-campus registration should consult the document Doctoral Candidates - Off-Campus Registration Policy and Procedures


To specify the requirements that must be met by a doctoral candidate in order for a period of absence (1-12 months) to be approved


  • It is important that the School of Graduate Studies is able to keep track of candidates who are absent during their doctoral degree, e.g. to do fieldwork, recording both the date of departure and the date of return
  • Approval from the School of Graduate Studies is not necessary for absences of less than 1 month, although it is expected that the candidate will ensure their main supervisor is aware of all absences during their doctoral candidature
  • Candidates who are planning to be absent should familiarise themselves with and continue to abide by the University’s policies and procedures in relation to travel and health and safety – see Key Relevant Documents


1.  The candidate must apply in writing to the Board of Graduate Studies

2.  Periods of absence of 1-12 months must be approved by the University’s Board of Graduate Studies

3.  During a period of absence the candidate must remain enrolled in the doctoral programme and pay tuition fees



4.  A candidate enrolled in the doctoral programme must complete a DOC6 in order to apply for a period of temporary absence 


5.  There must be an agreed, regular schedule of electronic and/or face-to-face supervisory contact between the candidate and the main supervisor during the period of absence 


6.  The candidate must have access to required resources during the period of absence 


7.    Non-New Zealand citizens paying domestic fees must contact the School of Graduate Studies to check their continued eligibility for domestic fees prior to applying for leave

Note: The eligibility of non-New Zealand citizens to pay domestic fees may be affected by absences, depending on the amount of time spent outside NZ. Such candidates may undertake research activities overseas during their PhD programme for a cumulative total of no more than 12 months


The following definitions apply:

Doctoral candidates are students enrolled in a doctoral degree at the University

Domestic fees are the tuition fees payable by New Zealand citizens for study at the University

Long-term absence is absence of 1 year or more during doctoral candidature

Permanent absence is absence for the duration of the doctoral candidature

Temporary absence is absence for a period of between one month and one year, for instance to perform field work, complete laboratory work, or visit library or other collections

University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries

Document management and control

Owner: Dean of Graduate Studies

Content manager: School of Graduate Studies

Approved by: Board of Graduate Studies

Date approved: March 2018 

Review date: March 2021